Each month, Let’s Talk will focus on sayings that might sound funny or confusing to a new language learner. So if you have ever thought “What did they mean by that?” or “What are they trying to say?” this column is for you.

The COVID-19 pandemic has set the world on edge. These unprecedented times have many people feeling anxious. However, we know the world is always changing and people are always adjusting and adapting. Resilience in the face of adversity is the necessary tool to help us through this tough situation. Together, we will get through this.
Here are four idioms – expressions in which the meanings of the words are not the same as the meaning of the saying – that one might hear used in connection with hope and optimism; two things that we all can use now.

Take heart — Feel optimistic
“Claude is disappointed that he gained a few pounds, but he takes heart that he is still sticking to his diet and eating more sensibly.”

Every cloud has a silver lining — In bad situations, there is always something good
“Although the COVID-19 pandemic is unsettling, the silver lining is that so many people are coming together to help one another.”

There is a light at the end of the tunnel — The end of a difficult situation
“Fatima is tired and stressed from all of her studies, but graduation day is the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Keep your chin up— Remain cheerful in a difficult situation
“Alise is trying to keep her chin up and not be discouraged by the current economic situation.”

If you have questions about sayings you have heard Americans use that you don’t understand, or if you have questions about American culture, please email your questions to Claudia at [email protected] and “Let’s Talk” will be happy to help.

Claudia Jakubowski has her Masters Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).